As part of a review of the Skilled Migration Occupation Lists, the Australian government has released a bulletin identifying the list of occupations that are under consideration for a change in status on the Skilled Occupation Lists.
A number of key changes have been proposed, including the removal or down-grading of some trades occupations, the upgrading of managerial and data-related occupations to the Long term list, and the addition of occupations relating to personal and aged care.
The lists affected include the Short Term Occupation List, the Medium to Long Term Occupation List and the Regional Occupation List which are used to determine eligibility for the Australia’s skilled visa programs including employer sponsored and general skilled visas.
Occupations which are proposed to be removed or moved between these lists would impact employers’ ability to utilise the employer-based temporary and permanent visa programs.
Disability & Aged Care
A number of personal support occupations have been flagged for addition to the Short Term list. Those that could be added are Aged or Disabled Carer, Nursing Support Worker, and Personal Care Assistant.
These are all Skill Level 4 occupations and would require a Certificate III qualification. All three occupations come with the recommendation that there is a mandatory skill assessment.
Interestingly, social support categories such as the occupation Community Worker has been flagged for removal. This occupation is used for roles in community-based organisations.
Data Science & ICT
Potential occupations moving from the Short Term list to the Medium to Long Term list are ICT Project Manager and Information and Organisation Professionals. The Information and Organisation Professionals category includes the occupation ‘Data Scientist’ and ‘Data Specialist’ and ICT Project Manager includes ‘Blockchain Planner / Manager’, following a recent update to the ANZSCO occupation dictionary. ICT Business Analyst remains on the Medium to Long Term list, but now includes the occupation ‘Block Chain Strategist’.
This move reflects the Department’s recognition a number of new and emerging occupations that did not previously fit into the ANZSCO system. Putting these occupations on the Medium to Long Term list would give pathways to permanent residency for TSS visa applicants as well as the chance to apply for a points-tested 189 Skilled Independent visa.
These occupations also come with a recommendation for salary caveats above a certain level (AUD 120,000 for ICT Project Manager and AUD 90,000 for Information and Organisation Professional NEC).
Sales and Marketing & Procurement Managers
Sales and Marketing Manager is proposed to move from the Short Term list to the Medium to Long Term list, which would provide access to permanent residency pathways.
Making a big jump from the Regional List to the Medium to Long Term list could also be the occupation of Procurement Manager, again giving employers the chance to sponsor employees outside of regional Australia and a permanent residence pathway.
Banking & Finance
Corporate Treasurer is flagged to be re-instated on the occupation list after being removed in 2017. The occupation is proposed to be included on the Short Term occupation list.
Occupations currently flagged to be moved from the Medium to Long Term list to the Short Term list include Automotive Electricians and Motorcycle Mechanics, Painting Trades Workers, and Wall and Floor Tilers. These occupations will be subject to more restrictive TSS visa grant periods, and importantly, do not provide visa holders with a pathway to permanent residency.
The occupation Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson is proposed to be moved from the Regional occupation list to the Short Term list, creating the option for employers in non-regional Australia to sponsor these occupations for short term TSS visas.
A number of occupations have been flagged for removal including Hairdresser and Massage Therapist.
The occupation of Geologist would move from the Short Term to the Regional occupation list, reflecting that the shortages in industries such as resources and oil and gas are primarily located in regional areas.
Finally, the occupation of Real Estate Representative is flagged to be moved from the Regional occupation list to the Short Term list, creating the option for employers in non-regional Australia to sponsor these occupations for short term TSS visas.
The next steps of the review will be a formal submission period that will open February 2020. The government is seeking feedback from industry, employers and other relevant stakeholders. The new lists will be released March 2020.
Please note that these are proposed changes, the changes will not be formalised until the release of the new Skilled Occupation Lists in March 2020.
Employers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to engage in this consultation process. The Migration Agency can assist with preparing and presenting information and formal submissions to the Department, to help your business address challenges and achieve a desired outcome. If you are interested in learning more about the review of the Skilled Migration Occupation Lists and how The Migration Agency can advocate for outcomes to support your business needs, please contact Sarah Thapa on firstname.lastname@example.org.